Cold Harbor

I shot this photograph for a dear friend, and I hope he does not mind me posting it here.  It was my Christmas gift to him — a large gallery wrap of any scene he wanted me to shoot in his hometown of Hamburg, Germany.  I shot and processed it yesterday, and, I should note, this was one challenging set of brackets to post-process.  Sadly, Photomatix did not like the set of brackets I was feeding it, so, in the end, I spent some time (you don’t want to know just how long) hand-blending the brackets for this HDR without the aid of any HDR Software, a process is known as “digital blending”; there is absolutely no tone-mapping in this particular image.  I have to admit, though, that I sure enjoyed the creative process on this one, and enjoyed talking to my buddy as I edited it to his specifications.  Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I’ll admit that I’m not a huge fan of that blown-out sun, but the brackets needed to fix that were, too me, unacceptable.  My good friend (as well as my wife, whose eye I trust when it comes to my work) actually like the blown-out sun, and it has grown on me as well.  It’s not my best work, but it’s a gift from the heart! So, off it goes to APC (Artistic Photo Canvas) and we’ll hope for the best.  Look for my review of the APC canvas once I have it in my hot little hands!

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Soooo cold (but wonderful!).

Other than the extreme ends of the day the sun usually is far too bright for the eye to see any how, so having a perfectly exposed sun would possibly have made the scene look unnatural.
I think you’ve done an absolutely splendid job at manually blending the exposures needed for this shot and you should be well pleased with the result. Top job and very nice photo, I’m sure your friend will be most pleased. 🙂

A departure from your Urbex genre, Jacques, but a wonderful illustration none the less. With the gull flying through, and the ice in the blue water I can almost smell the sea.

I think you’ve given your friend a beauty gift Jacques. I love this scene and you’ve processed it very well in my mind! Well done!

I think it’s wonderful, love the blown-out sun myself…and for this being all done by hand…amazing work my friend!

Beautiful and dynamic! You should be proud of this image!


Heh, heh… Why does it not surprise me that you’d have issues with the sun?

All kidding aside, this is a great image, Jacques, made even more so by the care and attention you gave it.

Worry not about that pesky ball of light in the sky!

I used to hate blown out areas but I’ve sort of come around… I think it works well in this photo… having the warm glow around the high-lighted area works well. I’ve often seen people talk about digital blending but I’ve not really had much success. I will say that I like how the photo kind of pops out… almost a 3D feel to it – something I’ve found to be the case with these kind of hand blended shots… Well done!

Hey friends! It was most definitely as cold as it looks in the picture, especially since I left my overcoat in the car about 800 meters away to walk down to the pier with my buddy to take the shots for this image. I just got off the phone with the fine folks at APC and they’ve said the image is going to look “fabulous” on canvas. Can’t wait to present this to my buddy!